This morning I had coffee with the woodpeckers. After the weekend away at a Phenomenal Touch intensive training, I was eager to see them. As I suspected, the nest was empty, though when I sat down at the Peace Chamber, the parents were on the birch tree, pecking and sipping sap.
Soon Papa was joined by a fluffy gray baby, showing the early markings that affirm he is a yellow-bellied sapsucker. Oh, there are two babies in this picture!
Here they are sipping sap and practicing basic pecking skills.
Shortly, Papa flew away, and another bird fluttered in somewhat awkwardly. It was a third baby woodpecker! I enjoyed watching three three nestmates hope around the small birches and squabble over the best holes.
One flew over to a branch on a bigger birch to the left. It quietly practiced pecking on its branch. The fog was rolling in, and this woodpecker is fog colored, isn't she.
Suddenly Papa began calling from the ash tree to the west. The three birds in their perches froze. They stayed still for about 10 -15 minutes, while Papa sounded the alarm. I never saw the disturbance, but something put Papa on alert!
Through the binoculars, I can see that at least one of the babies is male. He already has a red blush coming in on his chin. I'll keep an eye on the others, to see if they develop colors in the next few days.
The three babies are contentedly sipping on sap, when another bird joins them from the treetops. It's a fourth baby woodpecker! Four babies! It lands briefly on the birch with the others, but soon flies to the branch in the bigger birch. Can you see them in this picture?
Here they are! (Click on the photo to see larger image.)
As always, your donations help maintain the land, build the Peace Chamber, and support our work. Join with us as a mission partner today. Come sing to the woodpeckers!
Bonus: I just uploaded a very short video of Papa feeding the baby. It's back lit and foggy, but charming nonetheless.